Most of you know my story. If you don’t, here’s the long version.
On September 5, 2015 – the weekend prior to my first 70.3 IRONMAN – on a routine training bicycle ride, I lost control of my bike on downhill switch backs, crossed over the oncoming lane and went over the side of a hill.
I had a broken collar bone, several cracked ribs, a 70% collapsed lung, and worst of all a L1 burst fracture in the lumbar spine. The very next day after my fall, the doctors performed a spinal fusion. It has left me paralyzed in a wheelchair without any feeling or control of my legs.
Through months of intense rehab, I’ve regained sensation that began at the nipple line up and now starts around my waist and up. Whether I’ll walk again is up in the air according to the doctors. However, I believe it is a matter of healing, belief, giving the body what it needs, giving the mind what it needs, and time.
the rally | paratriathlon
From the moment after my surgery, I set a goal to race a triathlon within a year. With the amazing help of you, my family and friends, I was able to raise the funds to get a handcycle, racing wheelchair, and wetsuit. I went on to compete in not only the Santa Cruz Triathlon, but also Oakland Tri and Malibu Tri.
Since then I’ve been able to compete in now four 70.3 IRONMAN races, the LA Marathon, Marin Century ride, and numerous other races and rides.
This past June I qualified for both the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in France, after failing to even complete the qualifying IRONMAN 70.3 last year.
I declined the Kona qualification because I’m not ready to compete there yet. We have a very specific plan thanks to my coaching for Kona in 2020. That leaves the IM 70.3 Championships in France and that is where we’re headed this September.
As you can imagine, the cost is going through the roof of what I can afford alone. I have a new list of needs to make a showing in Nice. There’s continued coaching, equipment maintenance/upgrades (new hand pedal), travel, entry fees, and so on. I’ve applied for and received a number of grants supporting people like me. I did receive a grant from the Challenged Athlete Foundation, but it only gets me partially there. Now we need to get all the way to Paris by September 6.
I’ve decided to create a crowdfund through this site, using PayPal and Venmo, instead of going through the crowdfunding websites that charge in excess of 8% of the funds raised. After all, website design is what I do for a living.
I’ll be posting updates, tracker, comments, and other info to this page.
How else do I say, ‘I can’t do it without you?’ I hate this process. But it works. And every time this tribe says, ‘It’s okay. We want to support you.’ So here I am again. Can we do this?
Really my campaign is not just to race Paratriathlon. It’s to build an inspirational story.
A story that proves life is something you choose to create, not something you are a victim to.
‘Because you say, work hard and do. . . . . period.’
‘Thanks for changing my life by getting me into Tri and being a constant inspiration.’
‘Stop being a lazy ass.’
‘GO Robby, you inspire me! The Alluv Place is proud to support you in your dreams.’
‘So proud of you Rob. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your incredible journey.’
‘So proud of you, Rob! Admire you so much.’
‘Congratulations Rob! I will be in Nice racing too and will keep an eye out on Sunday to cheer you on, reach out of you need anything while there. Congratulations also on Kona, and also passing it up until you are ready.’
‘Have an amazing journey to Nice!’
‘You are an inspiration to all athletes out training for something!’
‘U go boy :)’
‘Kick ass, Balucas! ❤️????????’
‘Go Rob! You inspire many!’
‘Never stop. Never f*****g stop. You are m**********g unstoppable!!! Go Rob Go!!!’
‘Love your fight!’
‘You, Rob, are in inspiration to those of us that didn’t realize we needed inspiration. That’s for always shaking me out of my comfort zone. Love ya, bro.’
‘Even a little can maybe do a little? Nice is yours…’